Mar 23, 2011

DC Cupcakes: Cupcake Review, Washington DC

The Place:  Georgetown Cupcakes a/k/a DC Cupcake (TLC Network)
The Testers:  VSliker, Steve @ClassTax, Sandra & Michael Shealey, Bryson Shealey
The Flavors:  PB&J Swirl, Mint Cookies & Creme, Chocolate 2, Chocolate 3, Pumpkin Spice, Key Lime, Irish Creme, Red Velvet, Chocolate & Vanilla
The Faves:  Key Lime, PB&J, Red Velvet, (spoiler alert) Chocolate 2
The Drawback:  40 minute wait in line, horrible traffic, hard-to-find parking
Conclusion:  Well worth doing ONCE in your life.

I was asked to stop by & review DC Cupcakes recently when a meeting at NASA Headquarters required I travel to DC......
  By "meeting" I mean NASA TweetUp.  I've often reviewed specialty cupcake joints on this blog, so the request didn't surprise me.  What surprised me was that there is a whole show about cupcakes on TLC that I had never heard of - DC Cupcakes.  I taped several shows and studied them prior to my departure.

What, for some perplexing reason, I did not expect was the crowd.  The 40-minute wait in line, the traffic across DC into Georgetown and the anemic parking.  Luckily, my new twitter friend I met at the TweetUp, Steve (@ClassTax), a highly motivated, often distracted, easily bribed General Mgr. of Class Companies offered to drive us into Georgetown and perform a few taste tests for me.  He dropped me off in the 40 minute line, parked and joined me & my southern friends.  We studied the menu in line and eventually found ourselves face to face with these little darlings:

I did not let myself be distracted by the colorful sprinkles.  I wanted them, sure, but I knew it was just bling.
I learned a long time ago that appearances are deceiving.
Mama was right:  What's on the inside is way more important than what's on the outside.
With that in mind, I bravely selected this ugly duckling:

Pumpkin Spice.  Two days after Spring's arrival is not the time to induce warm, fuzzy pumpkin spice feelings, but for whatever reason, it was one of the special flavors of the day.  I bit into it with visions of leaves changing colors and warm alpacca sweaters dancing in my head.  I was taken aback.  Something strange was afoot in my Pumpkin Spice.  After a few savoring bites, I figured out - it was the maple in the cream cheese frosting - very unusual.  Very interesting.  When Steve bit into the pumpkin spice, his face lit up.  "Tastes just like Al's cookie!" He announced as he palmed the table with a loud thump.  (Al's Deli in Evanston, IL serves a famous Pumpkin Spice Cookie which, I deduce, is maple-infused)  (Who wants to road trip to IL with me?!)
So here's Steve's and my box of cupcakes.  Left to right, back row:  Pumpkin Spice, Chocolate 2, Chocolate 3.  Front row: Keylime, Irish Creme, Key Lime.

As for my southern friends across the table, Sandra's favorite was the Key Lime, "Perfect amount of lime!" She gushed, "Not too much, not too little."   Later, Steve confirmed, "I get key lime everywhere I go and never have I tasted it so good!"  With a smile, he added, "Hands down, 10 out of 10 stars for the key lime, I've never seen the flavor of lime presented so perfectly." 

Sandra hated the Mint Cookies and Creme - it was dry, flaky, fell apart in her hands and very messy.  Her husband next to her in the deplorable Clemson shirt LOVED the Peanut Butter Swirl cupcake.  "Better than a Reese Cup," he assured me, "The peanut butter is a LOT better, real smooth." 

Bryson, not pictured, tried the Chocolate & Vanilla and the Red Velvet. Red Velvet was his favorite.  Very moist and smooth.  Steve & I tried the Irish Creme, a St. Patrick's Day special.  It was a great mix -- not too sweet.  It is my second favorite.  The chocolate cake in it was incredibly moist and yummy.

The moment I had been waiting for finally arrived:  Chocolate 2 vs Chocolate 3.
The Ultimate Showdown.
I cleansed my palate, bit into chocolate #3 and chewed slowly.  Made eye contact with Michael.  We read each other loud and clear:  stunning disappointment.  Chocolate 3 would be perfect for Jen. Jen doesn't like much chocolate, she is a wimp, she would like the wimpy french chocolate sprinkles on top of the Chocolate #3.  But me and Michael?  Oh no, Michael and I wanted uber-chocolate, such as, drum-roll please... chocolate #2It was perfect.  Way, way, way too much chocolate!  We loved it.  It was rich and creamy and moist, strong, dark, delicious. I would take a bath in Chocolate #2 if I could afford it.  I thought for a minute it even had chocolate lava inside.  The frosting was creamy and sweet, so soft!  Melt in your freakin' mouth frosting.

Summary:  Georgetown cupcakes were, indeed, noticeably better than Cupcake, a chain in Columbia, Charleston & Savannah, all of which I've visited.  Georgetown's frosting covers the cupcake fully and is creamy while the other's is artisticly piled sky high, but doesn't cover the cupcake and is mostly air.

Click here for my last Cupcake review with links to others.
Or go to my right sidebar menu & click on Cupcake Reviews.
Obnoxious video if you want to get the real NOISY experience:

1 comment:

Mom said...

And to think my daughter KNOWS how much I LOVE pumpkin ANYTHING and still didn't bring me back a cupcake is absolutely NOT acceptable!! Just wait 'till the next occasion that would bring to her a Starbuck's gift card HA!!!!!